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Tuesday, October 27, 2020


By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing My "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at since 1994.
These notes for good wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at  or at No winery can buy their way into – or out of – this publication.
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone would taste like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
Currently, the wine media have no access to the tasting samples usually provided to us in the LCBO lab on a fortnightly basis. This will go on or some time. HOWEVER,  the wine media will still have access to the advance spreadsheet of the wines to be released. So I know what is to be released and when. SOME (but not many) of these 100 or so wines I have recently tasted since January 2020 or so, and I can comfortably recommend them based on this prior sampling.
Some New Wines Tasted Over the Past Fortnight ---
1.WineryArt Bodega DeMuerte Blanca Sobre Lias 2019 Yecla Spain $23 consignment: this is a bi-varietal wine, a blend of two grapes (here, 80% sauvignon blanc and 20% verdejo). Europe and Latin America have a vast number of bi-varietal wines. Each grape complements the other. Here,the sauvignon is aromatic with citric tones and herbs, while the verdelho is fruity with sweet ripe orchard fruit (peach, apricot). More complexity is given as both wines are aged on their lees ("sobre lias"). Both grape varieties come from vineyards that are over 10-years old. Poultry would be a  suggested food accompaniment. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2.Albino Armani 1607 Sequal Sauvignon DOC Fruili-Grave 2018 Friuli-Venezia-Giulia $20.95 consignment: very intense aromas, fruity from green fruit and herby but with a medium-body and not like Kiwin Savvy. Citric finish, very useful as a first course white wine. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
3.Biscardo Mabis Oropasso Originale Garganega Chardonnay Veneto IGT 2018 $18.95 consignment: another bi-varietal, with 60% garganega and 40% chardonnay. Here the garganega appears to have undergone a partial passito (its unctuousness tastes peachy). Or, at the very least, it is Late Harvest in style. Garganega, of course, is the grape behind Soave, and in its passito form, it's also Recioto di Soave, a sweet dessert wine with apricot and bitter almond complexity. So any sweetness here has been muted by the chardonnay's green style. A good food accompaniment would be fish. 13% ABV. Really good quality wine. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
4.Tavernello Pinot Bianco Famoso Rubicone IGT 2018 Emilia-Romagna LCBO +14060 $8.95 and
5.Tavernello Sangiovese Cabernet Rubicone IGT 2018 Emilia-Romagna LCBO +13602 $8.95: here we have entry level bi-varietals (the Argentine Fuzion Shiraz Malbec is a bi-varietal at this same price level). The sour cherry of the sangiovese has been tempered by the fruitiness of the cabernet, much like a SuperTuscan but minus the depth. Food: grilled vegetables or just patio parties. The white bi-varietal is interesting for its inclusion of the aromatic famoso grape, once a "lost" indigenous variety but since reclaimed. It deftly complements the blander pinot bianco. Good quaffing wines. 12% ABV Famoso; 13% ABV Sangiovese. Quality/Price rating is 88 points each by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
6.Paradise Vineyards Joliesse Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 California, +16564, $17 Vintages October 31: another modest cabby from California (mostly Lodi). Good basic black fruit (cassis, black cherry, spices) – but with a medium body detailed by oak tones of vanilla. Long finish, warm tannins. Tasted over a few days. 13.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
Under $20
R+15763    BON COURAGE ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    WO Robertson    2015    $14.95 MVC/QPR: 91
R+913855    SELLA & MOSCA TERRE RARE RISERVA    DOC Carignano del Sulcis    2015    $19.95  MVC/QPR: 89
R+16564    JOLIESSE CABERNET SAUVIGNON California 2018    $17.00     MVC/QPR: 90
R+574780    DEMUERTE    DO Yecla    2017    $19.95 MVC/QPR: 90
Over $20
W+566026    CAVE SPRING CSV RIESLING    Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2017    $29.95  MVC/QPR: 89
W+924555    KIM CRAWFORD SIGNATURE RESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island    2018    $24.95    MVC/QPR: 89
W+326165    ROBERT MONDAVI TO KALON VINEYARD RESERVE FUMÉ BLANC    Napa Valley    2015    $79.95     MVC/QPR: 89
W+346304    GRGICH HILLS ESTATE GROWN CHARDONNAY    Napa Valley    2016    $69.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+395855    HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE CABERNET/MERLOT    VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2016    $24.95 MVC/QPR: 92
R+155408    MARCHESI DI BAROLO BARBARESCO DOCG 2016    $39.95     MVC/QPR: 90
R+942508    MASTROJANNI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO    DOCG    2015    $82.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+489708    HUFF RESERVE PINOT NOIR    VQA Prince Edward County    2017    $34.95  MVC/QPR:  90

Your health depends on my health. We cannot escape one another in these perilous times.

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